If you’re trying to lose weight, there are plenty of diet plans, weight loss products and miracle superfoods that promise to deliver quick and easy results. How do you know if a diet or product is too good to be true? Watch out for these five signs:
- Promises weight loss of more than 1 pound per week.
In the world of weight loss, slow and steady wins the race. Weight loss of ½ to 1 pound per week is a practical goal and is best for your health. When you lose weight more rapidly, you’ll lose water, bone and muscle mass, and you’re likely to gain the weight back. Setting a goal of losing weight more quickly will be hard to achieve, leaving you feeling defeated. Set yourself up for success by starting with an attainable goal.
- Advertises “no need to exercise.”
Diet plans that promise you’ll lose weight quickly without exercises may sound appealing, but they’re taking the focus off living an overall healthy lifestyle. According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, everyone should aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity every week, and studies have shown that 5 hours or more of physical activity weekly may be needed to help contribute to weight loss. People who exercise regularly are more likely to maintain their weight loss. Exercise is a valuable tool in helping you achieve your weight loss goals, but it’s also good for your heart, can help maintain bone mass, and help prevent chronic diseases.
- Claims to change the way the body works.
No one superfood, magical combination of foods, or supplement can change your genetic code or change the way the body processes food. Any diet that promises to “melt away fat,” or cause your body to become a “fat-burning machine” is definitely too good to be true. Be especially cautious with herbal remedies and supplements, which are not regulated by the FDA and can be dangerous.
- Eliminates entire food groups.
Eliminating a specific food group from your diet may lead to weight loss initially, but the reason is because you’re consuming less total calories. Eating a variety of foods from all of the food groups allows you to get the wide range of nutrients your body needs. Avoiding entire food groups can prevent you from getting those nutrients. The key to weight loss is to consume fewer calories than you burn, so enjoy foods from every food group, and reduce your portion sizes.
- Focuses on a small list of approved foods.
Just as eliminating entire food groups is an unbalanced approach, eating one specific food or recipe or a very short list of approved foods every day is not a reasonable approach to long-term weight loss. If you’re eating the same soup or smoothie for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you’ll only stick to your “diet” for so long. Instead of looking for a very specific “diet,” aim to make lasting healthy lifestyle changes that will help reduce your waistline and improve your overall health. Think more veggies, fresh fruit, leaner cuts of meat, whole grains, and low-fat dairy in reasonable portions, and you’ll be more likely to achieve slow, steady and lasting weight loss.
Need help planning low-calorie meals? Check out the eMeals Low Calorie meal plan. Each plan contains seven well-balanced and varied meals, all with less than 500 calories.